Find out more with our position papers and other helpful documents.

OUR BELIEFS

Our Mission

The purpose of Autumn Ridge Church is to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and serve people.

We believe that God made each of us to love him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  We believe in sharing the love of God with others through partnerships that serve both in our local community and globally.  We believe that God meets us with complete forgiveness through his son Jesus. In worship we express our gratitude for this gift of love, even though none of us deserves it!

Our Vision (I Peter 3:15)

In the power of the Spirit, we will equip Autumn Ridgers to be disciples where they live, work and play, and share our hope in Jesus.

Our Values

We believe that a disciple who loves God will value the scripture, commune with God in worship, and grow in their faith through intentional discipleship.  We believe that a disciple who serves people will live in community with other believers, will seek to identify their gifts for service, and will mirror God’s own compassion for the world.

First and foremost, we are an evangelical church. The word “evangelical” is an anglicized form of the Greek word for “gospel.”  An evangelical church is gospel-centric.  The central images of an evangelical church are the cross and the empty tomb.  An evangelical church is driven by a belief in the truth of Jesus’ words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”

Additionally, we believe that baptism by immersion is the best dramatic portrayal of the process of salvation.  We define “Believers’ Baptism” as a baptismal event that follows a believer’s personal decision to accept Christ as Savior.  While baptism is a prerequisite for church membership giving a person voting privileges in the church, we observe “open communion,” available to anyone who confesses faith in Christ.  All other areas of participation in the ministry of the church are open to non-members.

We are innovative but not trendy.  We embrace fresh approaches to tell the ancient story of salvation. We welcome innovative approaches to worship and discipleship.  Leadership has the freedom to fail, as long as we don’t repeat our mistakes, and learn important ministry lessons in the process.  We don’t chase fads or do things just because someone else does.

We embrace tradition, but are not bound by traditionalism.  Pelikan noted that, “Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.”  We value the collective experience of the church, catholic and evangelical. New ideas are examined for their biblical basis, theological meaning, and historical precedents.

We value theological study and reflection. Our congregation enjoys a diversity of theological views and affords to one another the right of personal opinion.  We are dogmatic on the essentials of the faith and extend grace on issues of secondary importance.  When considering a new course of action, our decisions are formed by investigating the biblical basis, theological implications, and historical precedents of the decision.

We embrace the best of historical theologies.  Because no single theological position has all the answers, we embrace the best of reformed and Wesleyan theologies.  We value the truth, beauty, and goodness represented by the various expressions of orthodox, catholic, and evangelical worship.  As an evangelical church, our mission and practice is shaped and driven by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are passionate about local outreach and international missions.  The benediction of worship, “Let us go out in peace to love and serve the Lord,” is more than a signal that the worship service is over.  The congregation sincerely desires to have worship that translates into active service.  Our purpose is to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and serve people.

We are a generous and gracious congregation.  The fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – is evidenced in many ways.  We do not see ourselves as being in competition with other evangelical churches.  We do not squabble internally over insignificant issues.  We believe that our hearts will follow our treasure, and so we invest liberally in the on-going work of God.

We are politically diverse and open-minded.  We recognize each individual’s right to diverse political opinions and social positions.  We do not corporately participate in politics, nor will we endorse any candidate or party.

We experience spiritual formation through excellent, God-honoring worship.  All worship must deal with the push of tradition and the pull of culture, but we believe that the fundamental question is not, “What does worship do?” – as if worship were a means to a higher end – but rather “What is worship about?”  Worship is a retelling and reenacting of the story of salvation; the cross of Jesus is the central image of worship.  We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe.  Worship does not exist for the purpose of evangelism; God-honoring worship can be the most powerful evangelistic force in the church.

We are passionate about the discipleship of children and students.  Believing that children are a gift from God, we devote ourselves to the spiritual formation of children and students.  The discipleship of children is the privilege and responsibility of parents; the church must train parents for this holy task and support their efforts by providing biblical teaching and modeling Christ-likeness.

STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Word of God

We believe the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

The Trinity

We believe there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.

God the Father

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of people,  He hears and answers prayer, and He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, and ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to Earth.

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and He is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide.

Regeneration

We believe all are sinners by nature and by choice, and are therefore, under condemnation. We believe those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

The Church

We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.

Christian Conduct

We believe all Christians should live for the glory of God and the well being of others, their conduct should be blameless before the world, they should be faithful stewards of their possessions, and they should seek to realize for themselves and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.

The Ordinances

We believe our Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Last Things

We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His Kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal happiness of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked.